“Over time the CPVC is to get brittle and cracking, thus i not any longer make use of it,” he says. “Occasionally I have to use it over a repair if the system already has it within, having said that i don’t use CPVC for repipes anymore.”
Grzetich is not alone. Though still an accepted material for piping, CPVC is losing favor with a few plumbers while they encounter various problems with it while at the job. They say it’s less an issue of if issues will occur but when.
“On some houses it lasts quite a long time before it gets brittle. Other houses, I do believe it has more related to temperature and placement in the pipe than anything,” Grzetich says. “But as time passes, any type of CPVC will almost certainly get brittle and ultimately crack. And when it cracks, it cracks pretty decent after which you’re going to get a steady flow of water from it. It’s nothing like copper where you receive a leak inside it and it just drips. Once CPVC cracks, it is going. I found myself at the house yesterday, there were three leaks inside the ceiling, all from CPVC. And when I used to mend them, the pipe just kept cracking.”
Sean Mayfield, a master plumber employed by Whole House Repipe Missouri City, Colorado, says in his work he encounters CPVC piping about 20 percent of times.
“It’s approved to place in houses, having said that i think it’s too brittle,” he says. “If it’s coming out of the surface and you kick it or anything, you have a good possibility of breaking it.”
He doesn’t utilize it for repiping and prefers copper, partly due to craftsmanship involved in installing copper pipe.
“I’m a 25-year plumber therefore i choose to use copper. It really requires a craftsman to get it in,” he says. “Not everybody can sweat copper pipe and then make it look nice and then make it look right.”
But as being a cheaper replacement for copper that doesn’t carry a few of the problems linked to CPVC, Mayfield, Grzetich along with other plumbers say they frequently use PEX since it allows more leeway for expansion and contraction, as well as carries a longer warranty than CPVC. For Mayfield and Grzetich it’s the maximum amount of about the simplicity of installation because it is providing customers a product that is not as likely to cause issues in the long term.
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“A large amount of it boils down to budget, yes, and also if you’re carrying out a repipe on a finished house where you need to cut the sheetrock and everything, it’s always easier just to get it done in PEX since you can fish it through like an electrical wire,” Mayfield says. “It cuts the labor down for certain.
“And CPVC uses glue joints that setup for a certain amount of time,” he adds. “With the PEX, you only make the grade by using a plastic cutter, expand it having a tool and placed it spanning a fitting. It’s significantly less labor intensive with regards to gluing and drilling holes. Gluing on CPVC, you will need to glue every joint. Whereas PEX, you could potentially probably run 30 or 40 feet than it through some holes and you also don’t possess any joints.”
Any piping product will be vunerable to problems if it’s not installed properly, but Mayfield notes that CPVC carries a smaller margin for error than PEX because it is an even more rigid pipe that seems to get especially brittle over time.
“If a plumber uses CPVC and it is, say, off by half an inch on their holes, they’ll have to flex the pipe to have it inside a hole,” he says. “It is going to be fine for many years then suddenly, as a result of strain, create a crack or leak. Everything must be really precise in the measurements with CPVC. Then it’s additionally a little nerve-wracking to function on because through taking an angle stop that’s screwed onto CPVC and you’re using two wrenches, you more often than not flex the pipe somewhat. You’re always concerned with breaking the pipe because it’s brittle.”
“We did a house in the new subdivision – your house was just 6 years of age – so we had to replumb the full house since it is in CPVC. We actually finished up doing three other jobs inside the same neighborhood. Afterward, the very first repipe we did is at CPVC because we didn’t know what else to use. But we considered it and discovered a much better product.”
“I’ve done about 20 repipes with Uponor. I’ve had zero callbacks, zero issues,” he says. “I utilize it over copper usually. Really the only time I use copper is designed for stub-outs to make it look nice. Copper remains a really good product. It’s just expensive.
“I do know plumbers who still use CPVC. Many people just stay with their old guns and once something such as Uponor originates out, they wait awhile before they start working with it.”
But according to Steve Forbes of Priority Plumbing in Dallas, Oregon, CPVC may still be a trustworthy material to get a plumbing system so long as it’s installed properly.
Within a blog on his company’s website, Forbes writes about some of the concerns surrounding CPVC, noting that within his experience, CPVC pipe failures are related to improper installation and in most cases affect only hot-water lines.
“CPVC will expand when heated, and when the device is installed that fails to let the hot-water lines to freely move when expanded, this will cause a joint to fail,” he says. “Each instance I have observed was as a result of an improperly designed/installed system.”
Based on CPVC pipe manufacturer Lubrizol, CPVC will expand about an inch for every 50 feet of length when exposed to a 50-degree temperature increase. Offsets or loops are important for too long runs of pipe to be able to accommodate that expansion.
“I feel that the problem resides for the reason that many plumbers installed CPVC much like copper, and failed to enable the added expansion and contraction of CPVC systems,” Forbes says in his blog. “If the piping is installed … with plenty of variations in direction and offsets, expansion and contraction is no problem.”
Forbes does acknowledge that CPVC could get brittle, and further care should be taken when wanting to repair it. Still, he stands behind this product.
“CPVC, if properly installed, is useful and does not have to be replaced,” he says. “I repiped my very own house with CPVC over 10 years ago – no problems.”
More often than not though, PEX is starting to become the fabric of preference.
In his Southern California service area, Paul Rockwell of Rocksteady Plumbing says CPVC plumbing is rare.
“Sometimes the thing is it in mobile homes or modular homes, but I can’t think of a foundation home that I’ve seen it in, inside the 10 years I’ve been working here,” he says. “I don’t know why it’s not around here. We used a lot of it doing tract homes in Colorado inside the 1990s when I was working there.”
Copper and PEX are what Rockwell usually encounters in their work. He typically uses Uponor PEX on repiping jobs.
“PEX is nice because you can snake it into places and also you don’t must open as many walls while you would with copper,” he says. “If somebody came to me and planned to perform a copper repipe, I’d dexspky68 it but it will be 2 1/2 times the price tag on a PEX repipe just because of the material along with the extra time. So it’s pretty rare that somebody asks for your.”
In their limited experience working with CPVC, Rockwell says he has seen the same issues explained by others.
“The glue has a tendency to take an especially very long time to dry and i also do mostly service work so the concept of repairing CPVC and waiting hours for that glue to dry isn’t very appealing,” he says. “And I’ve seen it get pretty brittle over time. I don’t have a lot of exposure to it, but even though it were popular here, I believe I would still use PEX over CPVC. So long as it’s installed properly, I haven’t seen any troubles with it.”